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The only thing that I've seen help a "smoker in denial" is to ask them what they LOVE about smoking. Why do they smoke? How does it make them feel? How do they feel without smoking? Get the scoop on the when, why, how, where, what...and let them tell you the full story as many times as it takes.

Once the person opens up about their story, it is one step in the right direction. Many people who smoke have been doing so for so long, that it helps them to verbalize why, indeed, they are smoking! They may have started young, for a specific purpose...now, is it just a habit? Or, are they feeling sad or depressed? Or, does it just feel great and they love the freedom and sensation?

Also, please note: the person with whom they share their love relationship (with smoking) may not be the person whom is closest to them in a "real" human relationship. For example, the person closest to my chain-smoking dad, my mom, is now known as "the nagger" when it comes to his smoking, and he hesitates to talk with her about it now.

The next step: what do they HATE about their smoking? What specifically do they not like about the cigarette or pipe or cigar or dip...most smokers have a laundry list of the negatives, everything from the cost, the time it takes out of their day, the inconvenience at times, the nagging from loved ones, the negative attention they receive from nonsmokers, the stains on their fingers and teeth...

To help in the conversation, there is a "Why I Smoke Test" online (see my blog for website, link below)

Good luck! Remember that quitting smoking isn't about a person's "will"; they are physically and psychologically addicted to a drug. There is no amount of pleading or guilt or information that will "make" them quit; they have to want to quit. The best motivators for quitting include:
1.) a doctor recommending that they quit to save their health
2.) experiencing a negative health consequence themselves or through a loved one
3.) taking an antidepressant that takes away the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Many smokers continue to smoke to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms.

April 10, 2008 - 12:34pm


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